Suzanne S. Van Auken

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Gainesville - Suzanne S. Van Auken died peacefully at her home in Gainesville on August 5, 2013. She was 90.

Born in Montclair, New Jersey to Judge William A. and Jeanne Smith, she grew up in her beloved Jersey shore town of Sea Girt. She attended Connecticut College in New London.

In June of 1943, she married Wendell Grant "Van" Van Auken, a newly minted second lieutenant and West Point graduate from Wyoming to whom she was married for over 48 years until his death in 1991.

After the end of World War II, in which Van served as a combat infantryman and company commander, she accompanied him to Army posts in the US and around the world, from post-war Austria to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Among her fondest memories of her life as an Army wife were her years in Taiwan in the 1950s, where she taught English to cadets at the Republic of China's military academy.

After her husband's retirement from the Army in 1968, they came to Gainesville, where he enrolled at the University of Florida, earning a master's degree in education and subsequently working as an assistant administrator in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for 12 years. Afterward, they traveled together all over the world.

Sue was an active member and officer of the Alachua General Hospital Auxiliary as well as the Retired Officers Association. For a number of years, she also taught English to foreign students at the University of Florida.

She was an avid reader, enjoyed attending theater her whole life and was a supporter of the theater in Gainesville. After her husband died, Sue continued to enjoy worldwide travel with her friends.

She was a member of the Amaryllis Circle of the Gainesville Garden Club and University Women's Club.

Among the great joys of her life were Pug dogs, who were part of her home over the course of more than half a century.

She is survived by her two sons, Wendell (Eddi) and Bill (Nelly), and two granddaughters, Wendy and Gabriela, all of whom will dearly miss her.

She will be interred next to her husband at the US Military Academy at West Point, New York. A Service of Remembrance to be scheduled at a future date.

Arrangements are under the care of Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Downtown, 404 North Main Street. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to Haven Hospice,





(352) 376-7556

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Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Downtown
404 North Main Street
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 376-7556
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11, 2013
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Funeral Home Details
Gainesville, FL   (352) 376-7556
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